1 Maccabees

Chapter 11

  1. 1. And the king of Egypt gathered together a great host like the sand that lieth vpon the Sea shore, and many ships, and went about through deceit to get Alexanders kingdome, and ioyne it to his owne.
  2. 2. Whereupon he tooke his iourney into Syria in peaceable maner, so as they of the cities opened vnto him, and met him: for king Alexander had commanded them so to doe, because he was his father in law.
  3. 3. Now as Ptolomee entred into the cities, he set in euery one of them a garison of souldiers to kepe it.
  4. 4. And when he came neere to Azotus, they shewed him the temple of Dagon that was burnt, and Azotus, and the suburbs thereof that were destroyed, and the bodies that were cast abroad, and them that he had burnt in the battell, for they had made heapes of them by the way where he should passe.
  5. 5. Also they told the king whatsoeuer Ionathan had done, to the intent he might blame him: but the king helde his peace.
  6. 6. Then Ionathan met the king with great pompe at Ioppa, where they saluted one another, and lodged.
  7. 7. Afterward Ionathan when he had gone with the king to the riuer called Eleutherus, returned againe to Ierusalem.
  8. 8. King Ptolomee therefore hauing gotten the dominion of the cities by the sea, vnto Seleucia vpon the sea coast, imagined wicked counsels against Alexander.
  9. 9. Whereupon he sent embassadours vnto king Demetrius, saying, Come, let vs make a league betwixt vs, and I will giue thee my daughter whome Alexander hath, and thou shalt reigne in thy fathers kingdome:
  10. 10. For I repent þt
  11. 11. Thus did he slander him, because he was desirous of his kingdome.
  12. 12. Wherefore he tooke his daughter from him, and gaue her to Demetrius, and forsooke Alexander, so that their hatred was openly knowen.
  13. 13. Then Ptolomee entred into Antioch, where he set two crownes vpō his head, the crowne of Asia, and of Egypt.
  14. 14. In the meane season was king Alexander in Cilicia, because those þt
  15. 15. But when Alexander heard of this, hee came to warre against him, whereupon king Ptolomee brought forth his hoste, and met him with a mightie power, and put him to flight.
  16. 16. So Alexander fled into Arabia, there to be defended, but king Ptolomee was exalted.
  17. 17. For Zabdiel the Arabian tooke off Alexanders head, and sent it vnto Ptolomee.
  18. 18. King Ptolemee also died the third day after, & they that were in the strong holds, were slaine one of another.
  19. 19. By this meanes Demetrius reigned in the hundreth, threescore and seuenth yeere.
  20. 20. At the same time Ionathan gathered together them that were in Iudea, to take the towre that was in Ierusalem, and he made many engines of warre against it.
  21. 21. Then certaine vngodly persons who hated their owne people, went vnto the king, and told him that Ionathan besieged the towre.
  22. 22. Whereof when he heard, he was angry, and immediately remouing, he can to Ptolemais, and wrote vnto Ionathan, that he should not lay siege to the towre, but come and speake with him at Ptolemais in great haste.
  23. 23. Neuerthelesse Ionathan when he heard this, commanded to besiege it [still] and he chose certaine of the Elders of Israel, and the priests, and put himselfe in perill.
  24. 24. And tooke siluer and gold, and rayment, and diuers presents besides, and went to Ptolemais, vnto the king, where he found fauour in his sight.
  25. 25. And though certaine vngodly men of the people, had made complaints against him,
  26. 26. Yet the king entreated him as his predecessors had done before, & promoted him in the sight of all his friends,
  27. 27. And confirmed him in the high priesthood, and in all the honours that hee had before, and gaue him preeminence among his chiefe friends.
  28. 28. Then Ionathan desired the king, that hee would make Iudea free from tribute, as also the three gouernments with the countrey of Samaria, & he promised him three hundred talents
  29. 29. So the king consented and wrote letters vnto Ionathan, of all these things after this maner.
  30. 30. King Demetrius vnto his brother Ionathan, and vnto the nation of the Iewes, sendeth greeting.
  31. 31. We send you heere a copie of the letter, which we did write vnto our cousin Lasthenes, concerning you, that you might see it.
  32. 32. King Demetrius vnto his father Lasthenes, sendeth greeting:
  33. 33. We are determined to doe good to the people of the Iewes, who are our friends, and keepe couenants with vs, because of their good will towards vs.
  34. 34. Wherefore we haue ratified vnto them the borders of Iudea, with the three gouernments of Apherema, and Lidda, and Ramathem, that are added vnto Iudea, from the countrie of Samaria, and all things appertaining vnto them, for all such, as doe sacrifice in Ierusalem, in stead of the paiments, which the king receiued of them yeerely aforetime out of the fruits of the earth, and of trees.
  35. 35. And as for other things that belong vnto vs of the tithes and customes pertaining vnto vs, as also the salt pits, and the crowne taxes, which are due vnto vs, we discharge them of them all for their reliefe.
  36. 36. And nothing heereof shall be reuoked from this time foorth for euer.
  37. 37. Now therefore see that thou make a copie of these things, and let it be deliuered vnto Ionathan, and set vpon the holy mount in a conspicuous place.
  38. 38. After this, when king Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him, and that no resistance was made against him, he sent away all his forces euery one to his owne place, except certaine bands of strangers, whom he had gathered from the iles of the heathen, wherefore all the forces of his fathers hated him.
  39. 39. Moreouer there was one Tryphon, that had beene of Alexanders part afore, who seeing that all the hoste murmured against Demetrius, went to Simalcue the Arabian, that brought vp Antiochus the yong sonne of Alexander,
  40. 40. And lay sore vpon him, to deliuer him [this young Antiochus] that he might raigne in his fathers stead: he told him therefore all that Demetrius had done, and how his men of warre were at enmitie with him, and there he remained a long season.
  41. 41. In the meane time Ionathan sent vnto king Demetrius, that hee would cast those of the towre out of Ierusalem, and those also in the fortresses. For they fought against Israel.
  42. 42. So Demetrius sent vnto Ionathan, saying, I will not onely doe this for thee, and thy people, but I will greatly honour thee and thy nation, if opportunitie serue.
  43. 43. Now therefore thou shalt do wel if thou send me men to helpe me; for all my forces are gone from me.
  44. 44. Upon this Ionathan sent him three thousand strong men vnto Antioch, and when they came to the king, the king was very glad of their comming.
  45. 45. Howbeit, they that were of the citie, gathered themselues together into the midst of the citie, to the number of an hundreth and twentie thousand men, and would haue slaine the king.
  46. 46. Wherefore the king fled into the court, but they of the citie kept the passages of the citie, and began to fight.
  47. 47. Then the king called to the Iewes for helpe, who came vnto him all at once, and dispersing themselues through the city, slew that day in the citie to the number of an hundred thousand.
  48. 48. Also they set fire on the citie, and gat many spoiles that day, and deliuered the king.
  49. 49. So when they of the city saw, that the Iewes had got the city as they would, their courage was abated, wherefore they made supplication to the king, and cried, saying:
  50. 50. Graunt vs peace, and let the Iewes cease from assaulting vs and the citie.
  51. 51. With that they cast away their weapons, and made peace, and the Iewes were honoured in the sight of the king, and in the sight of all that were in his realme, and they returned to Ierusalem hauing great spoiles.
  52. 52. So king Demetrius sate on the throne of his kingdome, and the land was quiet before him.
  53. 53. Neuerthelesse hee dissembled in all that euer hee spake, and estranged himselfe from Ionathan, neither rewarded he him, according to the benefits which hee had receiued of him, but troubled him very sore.
  54. 54. After this returned Tryphon, and with him the yong childe Antiochus, who reigned and was crowned.
  55. 55. Then there gathered vnto him all the men of warre whom Demetrius had put away, and they fought against Demetrius, who turned his backe and fled.
  56. 56. Moreouer Triphon tooke the Elephants, and wonne Antioch.
  57. 57. At that time yong Antiochus wrote vnto Ionathan, saying; I confirme thee in the high Priesthood, and appoint thee ruler ouer the foure gouernments, and to be one of the kings friends.
  58. 58. Upon this he sent him golden vessels to be serued in, and gaue him leaue to drinke in gold, and to bee clothed in purple, and to weare a golden buckle.
  59. 59. His brother Simon also he made captaine from the place called the ladder of Tyrus, vnto the borders of Egypt.
  60. 60. Then Ionathan went foorth and passed through the cities beyond the water, and all the forces of Syria, gathered themselues vnto him for to helpe him: and when he came to Ascalon, they of the city met him honorably.
  61. 61. From whence he went to Gaza, but they of Gaza shut him out; wherefore hee layd siege vnto it, and burned the suburbs thereof with fire, and spoiled them.
  62. 62. Afterward when they of Gaza made supplication vnto Ionathan, he made peace with them, and tooke the sonnes of the chiefe men for hostages, and sent them to Ierusalem, and passed through the countrey vnto Damascus.
  63. 63. Now when Ionathan heard that Demetrius Princes were come to Cades which is in Galilee, with a great power, purposing to remoue him out of the countrey,
  64. 64. Hee went to meet them, and left Simon his brother in the countrey.
  65. 65. Then Simon encamped against Bethsura, and fought against it a long season, and shut it vp:
  66. 66. But they desired to haue peace with him, which he granted them, and then put them out from thence, and tooke the city, and set a garrison in it.
  67. 67. As for Ionathan and his hoste, they pitched at the water of Gennesar, from whence betimes in the morning they gate them to the plaine of Nasor.
  68. 68. And behold, the hoste of strangers met them in the plaine, who hauing layed men in ambush for him in the mountaines, came themselues ouer against him.
  69. 69. So when they that lay in ambush rose out of their places, and ioyned battel, al that were of Ionathans side fled.
  70. 70. In so much as there was not one of them left, except Mattathias the sonne of Absolon, and Iudas the sonne of Calphi the captaines of the hoste.
  71. 71. Then Ionathan rent his clothes, and cast earth vpon his head, and prayed.
  72. 72. Afterwards turning againe to battell, he put them to flight, and so they ranne away.
  73. 73. Now when his owne men that were fled saw this, they turned againe vnto him, and with him pursued them to Cades, euen vnto their owne tents, and there they camped.
  74. 74. So there were slaine of the heathen that day, about three thousand men, but Ionathan returned to Ierusalem.

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